Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How the other half lives

Last week I had to drop off an envelope at another science building at LNFU and it was then that I realized two things: 1. I work in the dirty hippie building. 2. It is exactly the right place for me to be.

The other building is glass, outside and in. Office walls are made of glass lined with white stripes and some of them have formulas written all over them. What isn't glass is silver, from strips perfect for matchbox car fun between the banisters and the glass walls of the staircases, to a random spin bike in a hallway, to the two different kinds of espresso machines in the break areas, each of them extremely fancy.

In fact there were two extremely fancy ladies seated in one such break area, and when I went to admire the espresso machine they gave me the hairy eyeball. "I'm so jealous of your espresso machines," I said. They looked away. Now I was wearing shorts I bought at Target two years ago, one of three pairs I wear pretty much every week-but never the same pair twice in one week, thank you very much. I'm not a total schlub, not by a long shot. But I am definitely not post-modern sci-fi glamazon.

Which doesn't mean I'm not planning an espresso reconnaissance mission one of these days. Because I am a post-modern dirty hippie, and we like our espressos chic.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I have the blahs today. Although I am off to Europe in less than a month! So that's something. A big something. I'm considering doing a trial run of packing stuff, just to see how big a pile of stuff I end up making. Cousin B, my traveling companion, told me he's purchased his suitcase for the trip, and I told him I'd walked by a free one on the street but it wasn't up to snuff. I'll be borrowing one from McMumsy and PolackPappy instead. I'll also be sticking all my outfits into Ziplocs. Market Basket-brand ones, of course. But I love bags with bags inside them. It's just so much easier to sort through stuff.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My parking abilities have not improved over the last several months, despite having to put my car on the street four times a week. I don't even parallel park; I just have to make the car straight and reasonably close to the curb.

Sometimes it'll take four tries; each time I put the car in park, step out, and survey the situation before getting back in to correct things. Sometimes I whack my wheels into the curb. I am considering gluing some sort of rubber-tipped spring-y thing, like you see on baseboards to stop doors from hitting them, on the side of my car.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby nom nom

I went for a run on Friday and as the weatherfolks had f'ed up the forecast yet again, I got dehydrated. It was hooooooooooooootter than they said it would be, and I didn't drink enough water.

I managed to get myself out the door later that day, despite feeling icky, to meet my friend A and her daughter Daisy at Mr. Crepe, where I played every five-year-old's dream mobile phone app, Fairy Princess Dress-up, with an actual five-year old, and learned what was new with that kid's kid sister, baby Nancy, who is less than two months old.

Apparently baby Nancy got herself into a bit of a pickle one afternoon while lounging on her back beneath a fabric mobile. She managed to wiggle herself in such a way that a stuffed star was plopped right on top of her face. After determining she wasn't going to suffocate, the rest of Nancy's family decided to let her figure things out for herself.

After a period of intense concentration, Nancy opened her mouth as wide as she could and tried to eat her way out.

Monday, August 23, 2010


While Ned took a truck overnight from Ohio to NH, many hundreds of fleas chose to ride the Ned Express. Nobody is sure how he got so infested but since he agreed to swallow half the medicine the driver gave him PolackPappy ended up with half the number of bites, plus what looked like pepper (but was in fact dead fleas) covering the back of the dress Volvo.

Because of the fleabaggery Ned was driven straight to Vermont and so I did not get to meet him in person. I did however get to talk to Dr. Moo as Ned took his inaugural VT dump, and later quenched his thirst by drinking the toilet bowl dry.

Although Ned is reportedly scared of Mr. Moo he did travel back to NH with MM to pick up a washing machine. And unlike Jim, Ned has yet to show an interest in racing cows.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

En Route

Dr. Moo's brief hound-less period will soon be over, as a van carrying Ned the walker hound just left Ohio and will arrive tomorrow morning at a NH parking lot where McMumsy and PolackPappy await. (Mr. Moo is picking up Ned, along with a washing machine, on Sunday.)

Ned was recently in prison, where his cellmate taught him to do all sorts of things. Dr. Moo got a fax from the prisoner that noted Ned can sit and stay. The fax also noted that Ned has a lump in one of his ball sacs. "What is a prisoner doing feeling up a dog's ball sac?" questioned one of Dr. Moo's friends.

Come on, now.

I wondered if, unlike Jim (*sniff*), who brought toys with him in his tummy, Ned would carry them in his rectum. Ha! Or if he's learned how to make his own shivs out of everyday household items. Ha ha!

McMumsy says she's worried Ned has been taught secret commands so if, for example, you ask someone to "pass the butter" at dinner, Ned leaps up and rips your face off.

All kidding aside, I am looking forward to meeting the latest addition to the McPolack menagerie.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camel Toes

While I was pushing papers at the large 'n fancy university yesterday, Dr. Moo was giving a camel a pedicure. For more on the above photo, let's go straight to the (person holding the) camel's mouth:

Ollie was sedated for a nail trim. His owner asked me to put his tongue back in his mouth and hold his lower lip up so he wouldn't look undignified in the photo. I wish somebody had mentioned my appearance.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dress code

Went to NH this weekend for the annual MacDowell Colony/Monadnock visit with OSB and her girlies. This year Uncle J surprised me with his request to join the hike. He surprised me again by announcing his reason for heading back to the mountains he'd enjoyed climbing in his youth: Afghanistan, where he'll be embedding with the troops for two weeks this fall. It's quite the trip for a sixty-something, even one as spry as Uncle J.

When Grampy Mc was a war correspondent, back during WWII, he had a government-issued Colt .45, and when he was in a tent in the Aleutians with John Huston, he wore a government-issued wool snowsuit complete with face mask. This was later worn by Uncle D to keep him warm whilst plowing during long NH winters. When Uncle J helped out with the plowing one winter, he took out the local greenhouse along with the snow.

I tried wearing the full-length shearling-lined leather jacket that was part of Grampy Mc's uniform, when I was in high school. Of course the jacket ended up wearing me.

Uncle J apparently can't wear the same camo as the military while in Afghanistan; this is for his "protection," although I think it makes for easy pickings, especially when you consider he isn't allowed to carry a gun.

Even in Massachusetts we get to use pepper spray, though you do need a license.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



Too much wheel, not enough hamster, as cb likes to say. Curiously enough if you Google that exact phrase, every single hit belongs to him (whoops, not anymore), that bicycle-riding term-coiner.

Annnnnnnnyhoo, in extended-McFamily news, Uncle J was showing cousin D around the small NH town in which many McRelations grew up. They stopped in at Aunt J and Uncle D's goaty goaty goat farm and while touring the back 40 Uncle D proudly announced "We've got 46 goats!"

"No, we've got 45," corrected Aunt J, looking pointedly at a dead goat that lay nearby.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Catching up

McMumsy called this evening to tell me that Chauncey the Wonder Corgi, whom I babysat this weekend, had a run-in with the creature who's been eating up Ethel the barn kitty's chow.

And that creature is a skunk.

Luckily Mr. C only got spritzed in the face. Luckily for my parents, that is. Of course Chauncey proceeded to rub his beak on multiple carpets and so the house is stinky but McMumsy has decided to just live with the smell for awhile as opposed to try to get rid of it.

Her laissez faire attitude towards cleanliness is one reason why Dr. Moo is comfortable hopping on a treadmill at the gym despite reeking of cow effluvia, why Little Brother, when I asked him to grab an olive container out of the trash, did so without a second thought, and why I am comfortable with this method of removing excess food from dishes:

Another reason is PolackPappy.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

prune FAIL

Tomorrow is August 5th, which also happens to be the sell-by date on the giant bag of prunes PolackPappy bought me. There's a good 30 ounces of sticky brown goodness left in the 50-ounce bag. I think I should not have put the bag in the crisper drawer, buried behind lemons and limes. Out of sight, out of mind.

I wanted to make Pp proud of my eating habits, the way I wasn't able to do back when I was a vegetarian and he said I was too pale and needed to eat raw liver.

I did freeze part of yesterday's muffin, and ate three prunes in its place. Then when I was leaving the grocery store this morning, post-gym, with some on-sale raspberries, my tummy went all gurgly-murgly. Uh-oh, I thought to myself.

Just now I shoved four more prunes in my pie-hole. I'm hiking Moosilauke on Friday with a friend; perhaps I can convince her to join me in pruning our way up and down.

I wonder if it's possible to build up a tolerance.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Animal control

There's a stinkbug on a leaf on my street geranium; he's been there for days. The only way I know he's alive is that every so often when I look at him I see he's facing a slightly different direction. I haven't noticed him sucking the life out of the leaf with his proboscis so I am inclined to let him stay, rent-free.

In other critter news, the oxen purchase has been put on hold while Dr. and Mr. Moo search for a new dog and it will be some version of coon hound. I find it quite interesting that Dr. Moo, such a neat freak growing up, has become a slobberdog lover. Though I suppose dog slobber is perhaps the least revolting animal bodily fluid Moo's been splashed with.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Saturday afternoon I called to see if one Daisy N., age 5, was available for a neighborhood stroll. She was, and we headed out to visit a total of four neighborhood parks, and also a comics store, the library, and a cafe where Daisy sat quietly munching a brownie and reading a Looney Tunes comic book as nonchalantly as any twentysomething hipster.

While at the third park of the day, a little girl named Promise was nice enough to share a swing with Daisy, and even offered help pushing as Daisy is still mastering the art of pumping. Promise was a master pumper and once she really got going she started hollering "Oh my gosh! I'm going too high! I'm going to fall off! My hair looks crazy!"

Daisy regarded Promise coolly and said "Why don't you just stop pumping?"

It was at this point that Daisy and I had the "drama queen" conversation (although I did not use that exact term). I explained to Daisy that Promise was just being dramatic. "It's like how you're sometimes dramatic when you cry," I said, raising an eyebrow at her. She gave me the sort of sidelong glance that indicated she knew what I was talking about.

I don't know when you develop that form of expression, but it's there by kindergarten.